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GeForce GTS 250 1GB vs Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Intro

The GeForce GTS 250 1GB comes with a GPU clock speed of 738 MHz, and the 1024 MB of GDDR3 memory is set to run at 1100 MHz through a 256-bit bus. It also features 128 SPUs, 64 TAUs, and 16 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB, which uses a 55 nm design. AMD has set the core speed at 825 MHz. The GDDR4 memory runs at a frequency of 1126 MHz on this model. It features 320(64x5) SPUs along with 16 TAUs and 16 ROPs.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Memory Bandwidth

As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB should theoretically be quite a bit better than the GeForce GTS 250 1GB in general. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 144128 MB/sec
GeForce GTS 250 1GB 70400 MB/sec
Difference: 73728 (105%)

Texel Rate

The GeForce GTS 250 1GB is much (approximately 79%) faster with regards to anisotropic filtering than the Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB. (explain)

GeForce GTS 250 1GB 47232 Mtexels/sec
Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 20832 (79%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB should be much (about 124%) faster with regards to full screen anti-aliasing than the GeForce GTS 250 1GB, and able to handle higher resolutions better. (explain)

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB 26400 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTS 250 1GB 11808 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 14592 (124%)

Please note that the above 'benchmarks' are all just theoretical - the results were calculated based on the card's specifications, and real-world performance may (and probably will) vary at least a bit.

One or more cards in this comparison are multi-core. This means that their bandwidth, texel and pixel rates are theoretically doubled - this does not mean the card will actually perform twice as fast, but only that it should in theory be able to. Actual game benchmarks will give a more accurate idea of what it's capable of.

Price Comparison

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GeForce GTS 250 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Please note that the price comparisons are based on search keywords - sometimes it might show cards with very similar names that are not exactly the same as the one chosen in the comparison. We do try to filter out the wrong results as best we can, though.

Specifications

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Model GeForce GTS 250 1GB Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year March 3, 2009 Jan 28, 2008
Code Name G92a/b R680
Memory 1024 MB 1024 MB (x2)
Core Speed 738 MHz 825 MHz (x2)
Memory Speed 2200 MHz 2252 MHz (x2)
Power (Max TDP) 145 watts (Unknown) watts
Bandwidth 70400 MB/sec 144128 MB/sec
Texel Rate 47232 Mtexels/sec 26400 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 11808 Mpixels/sec 26400 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 128 320(64x5) (x2)
Texture Mapping Units 64 16 (x2)
Render Output Units 16 16 (x2)
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR4
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit (x2)
Fab Process 65/55 nm 55 nm
Transistors 754 million (Unknown) million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 2.0 x16/(internal PCIe 1.1 x16)
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 10.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.1 OpenGL 3.0

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data (counted in megabytes per second) that can be moved past the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the bus width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR type memory, it must be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, the better the card will be in general. It especially helps with anti-aliasing, High Dynamic Range and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum amount of texture map elements (texels) that are applied in one second. This number is calculated by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels processed in a second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels that the graphics chip could possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The number is calculated by multiplying the number of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the core clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - aka Render Output Units) are responsible for drawing the pixels (image) on the screen. The actual pixel rate is also dependant on quite a few other factors, especially the memory bandwidth of the card - the lower the memory bandwidth is, the lower the potential to get to the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

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GeForce GTS 250 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Please note that the price comparisons are based on search keywords - sometimes it might show cards with very similar names that are not exactly the same as the one chosen in the comparison. We do try to filter out the wrong results as best we can, though.

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